c. 1874 “WASHINGTON LITERARY ASSOCIATION” formed in 1874, Silk Ribbon Black print on White Silk, President Lincoln's Secretary, John Nicolay was one of the founders of the Washington Literary Society in 1874, Choice Extremely Fine.Scarce Silk Ribbon that measuring about 3” x 5.75” with a central oval portrait of General George Washington. Some fraying of the silk at the upper right edge, overall clean and fresh in appearance. The Literary Society of Washington was formed in 1874 by a group of friends and associates who wished to meet regularly for "literary and artistic improvement and entertainment". President Lincoln's closest assistants were his two Secretaries, John Nicolay and John Hay. John Nicolay was one of the founders of the Washington Literary Society in 1874 and remained a member for 25 years.
The Literary Society of Washington was formed in 1874 by a group of friends and associates who wished to meet regularly for "literary and artistic improvement and entertainment".
For more than 140 years, this literary society has convened monthly for discourse and the reading of essays written by members. The Society consists of approximately 40 Members, plus Honorary Associates and Emeritus Members. Unlike many similar social organizations, the Literary Society has included women members since its founding. The Society has no formal building or address, but meets in member homes or other locations.
"Only in Washington could such a grouping have come to pass," wrote anthropologist Alice Fletcher in 1908. "Not only were its members drawn from different sections of the country, but they represented the varied life of the capital city. Within the charm of the drawing-room, officials of the Government, legislators, writers, artists, scientists and private men and women met together, dropping, for the time being, all titles of distinction and becoming simply companions under the Egis of Learning."
According to a printed history of the Society, members have included three Presidents of the United States, justices of the Supreme Court, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, two Secretaries of the Smithsonian Institution, four Librarians of Congress, two Archivists of the United States, and over a dozen college and university presidents.
The Society remains active. Current members are drawn from public service, publishing, academia, and the arts. Most are published authors.